About this Site

Rubicon River

Dr W. L. Gale

The W. L. Gale Collection of Roman Republican Coins

The Australian Centre for Ancient Numismatic Studies, Macquarie University, was established in 1999 through an endowment provided by Dr W. L. and Mrs J. Gale. Together with this most generous foundation came the Gale collection of ancient coins, one of the finest numismatic collections in Australia. The Gale collection consists of three separate parts: coins of the cities of South Italy, Roman Republican coinage, and the coinage of the Emperor Hadrian and his family.

After a highly successful career as a lawyer and property developer, Bill Gale decided that he would enroll in a Bachelor of Arts degree at Macquarie University and begin the study of ancient history. He would eventually receive his doctorate from Macquarie in 2006 for a thesis on the legal practices of the Roman Senate. Among his teachers of Roman Republican history one might cite Associate Professor Tom Hillard. During the course of these studies Bill Gale began collecting ancient coins on a remarkable scale. The web exhibition Julius Caesar highlights some of the 800 coins in the Gale Roman Republic Collection.

The Gale Collection is distinguished by the high quality of its specimens and by the thoroughness with which it covers the range of issues struck. The extensive coverage which the collection provides shows the guiding influence of M. Crawford's magisterial opus, Roman Republican Coinage. This coverage has made Dr Gale's collection an invaluable resource for the teaching of Roman history and numismatics at all levels in our university.

The texts and collection selection for the exhibition are the work of Ms Lauren Horne and Ms Clare Rowan. Both are former junior fellows at the Australian Centre for Ancient Numismatic Studies under a scheme supported by the Gale endowment, and are currently postgraduate students at Macquarie University in the Department of Ancient History.

In addition to images of coins from the Gale Collection, permission to use photos of a further thirteen coins has been kindly given by a number of numismatic companies (see Catalogue).

This site was designed by Michelle O'Reilly. This exhibition, and the website exhibition series of ACANS, are edited by Kenneth Sheedy.

It is the policy of the Centre to eventually make all of its collections available to the public through internet access. A key part of this policy has been the development of exhibitions which focus on the strengths of the collection as well as the teaching and research interests of Macquarie University. This is the second web-exhibition to be undertaken by the Centre. The pilot exhibition – the Coinage of Ephesus – launched in 2005 has meet with great success (winning an award in the US). We hope that our latest venture, Julius Caesar, will find an appreciative audience in students from universities and high schools as well as the general public.

Kenneth Sheedy

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